The Polar Express

I’ve been seeing very mixed reviews for this movie. I’m really scratching my head over this bit from the New York Times review:

Tots surely won’t recognize that Santa’s big entrance in front of the throngs of frenzied elves and awe-struck children directly evokes, however unconsciously, one of Hitler’s Nuremberg rally entrances in Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will.” But their parents may marvel that when Santa’s big red sack of toys is hoisted from factory floor to sleigh it resembles nothing so much as an airborne scrotum.

Bizarre. Can’t anybody just watch a movie these days without thinking about Hitler and scrotums? There are a few good points in the review about the limitations of the motion-capture techniques used in the film. From what I’ve seen, I would agree that the characters look unnatural and a little creepy. Roger Ebert, on the other hand, loved it:

“The Polar Express” is a movie for more than one season; it will become a perennial, shared by the generations. It has a haunting, magical quality because it has imagined its world freshly and played true to it, sidestepping all the tiresome Christmas cliches that children have inflicted on them this time of year.

One reviewer’s “creepy” is another’s “haunting and magical”, I guess. I may have to go and see it, out of curiosity, if nothing else.

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